Stepping up to the challenges of leadership training, Pacific High School junior Alyssa Crum turned to the Pacific business community.

Crum addressed members of the Pacific Area Chamber of Commerce when the PHS Student Council hosted the group’s monthly meeting Nov. 16.

She asked local business leaders to help her improve Missouri’s standing in the international Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA).

The international college and high school program prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges.

Pacific High is one of 3,500 DECA chapters around the globe.

Pacific Chamber members first met Crum last spring when she was chosen as a state finalist to go to the DECA international career development conference in Anaheim, where she participated in a week of leadership workshops.

When she returned home, Missouri DECA administrators urged her to run for state office.

At the leadership conference at the Lodge of Four Seasons in mid-October, she ran for the office of District 8 vice president and won.

This brought new challenges for her, according to Nancy Pfeiffer, DECA sponsor.

“There are some things she needs to accomplish to participate in the state and international conference this year,” Pfeiffer said.

Crum explained that DECA needs to increase membership by recruiting professional members.

“One of my specific goals is to get at least 10 professional members,” she said. “If we accomplish that we will have one of the largest state associations in DECA in the country.”

Professional members pay a $12 annual membership fee and can be involved as much or as little as they want.

Professional membership is recognized with a DECA lapel pin, DECA Direct, a national bimonthly publication, a yearly thank-you gift, and monthly updates on chapter activities from a chapter officer.

“With that monthly correspondence you can choose to get involved with any of our events,” Crum said. “Your company name and logo will also be featured in our DECA classroom on our professional membership board.”

And next time a DECA member comes to the business community for sponsorship of a club activity, professional members receive a discount.

To receive an application for professional membership, contact Pfeiffer at npfeiffer@mvr3.k12.mo.us.